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Oilers pack it in with 6-5 loss to Canucks

MacTavish appears in interview during first intermission to preach patience and say he still says the team is playing better. Oilers unable to win after scoring five goals, and close out the season with a franchise record low 24 wins.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports


Sshhh. It’s ok. It’s over.

You can start disassociating from this season. Block it out.

The Oilers internal audit will begin soon. Anyone who does not have Wayne Gretzky’s phone number will be scrutinized.

The best highlight of this game though might have been the interview with Craig MacTavish at the first intermission.

Apparently he still feels the team - which just set a franchise record of fewest wins in a season - is playing better.

He gave tepid praise of interim coach Todd Nelson, saying he has done a “really good job” - a sign that there is likely a different head coach on the horizon.

Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, and Yakupov are going to be “well supported by the organization moving forward” indicating they are not going anywhere. They will remain the core of the Oilers’ future.

He admitted they need to make improvements in goaltending. Brossoit is “not too far away,” he said, although probably not ready next year. Organizationally going to be much stronger in net … eventually. Patience.

They will pick apart their on-ice game and see what’s going wrong. And really this last game of the season is as good a place to start as any.

Fans were shocked as the Oilers made the surprise move of playing their first string goalie Ben Scrivens. People had been expecting a return of Victor Fasth, or perhaps some kid from the juniors, as has been the Oilers tendency over the past couple weeks. Nevertheless the Oilers wanted to play outside their safety zone to keep their team on edge, no doubt.

It was a back-and-forth game with goalie Ben Scrivens playing about as well as Canucks goalie Ryan Miller, who is injured. For a while it seemed when one team scored the other would score only seconds later.

Everybody seemed to get a point. The Oilers scored five goals but - not so fast! - that’s not enough for a win if you’re the Oilers.

The Vancouver Canucks would take it 6-5 in overtime. You may now begin the debate over what’s worse - the goaltending or the defense?

The Oilers top line looked ready to redeem themselves after their pitiful game against the San Jose Sharks last Thursday.

Eberle, Hall, and Pouliot each got a goal, along with Yakupov and Purcell.

The first Oilers goal came as Canuck Linden Vey turns over the puck in the defensive end. Derek Roy snags it over to Nail Yakupov at the back door. Then only eleven seconds later Jordan Eberle from the slot wrists it into the top corner.

Later there is some serious tic-tac-toe passing when the Sedins are very businesslike in the first Canucks goals of the game.

Top of the second Bieksa wraps around as Canucks crash the net. Seconds later Hall receives a pass right in front of the net to keep the Oilers up.

Twelve minutes into the second period, Oilers are all over Miller with great passing plays, culminating in Benoit Pouliot’s goal. Four goals on fourteen shots on Miller. Seconds later Sven Baertshi. A give and go with Bieksa leaves Oilers a little baffled.

Third period Horvat does a great job of keeping possession of the pack, battles his way behind the net and Hansen is waiting in front to whack it in.

Scrivens should have had that last one, as Baertschi whacks at it, and Scrivens can’t close the five-hole in time.

Canucks take it in overtime.


First period

10:15 OILERS GOAL Nail Yakupov assisted by Derek Roy 1-0 Oilers
10:04 OILERS GOAL Jordan Eberle assisted by Benoit Pouliot 2-0 Oilers
9:00 OILERS PENALTY Derek Roy hooking drawn by Nick Bonino
6:50 CANUCKS GOAL Daniel Sedin assisted by Alexander Edler, Henrik Sedin 2-1 Oilers
3:34 OILERS PENALTY Anton Lander tripping drawn by Henrik Sedin

Shots Oilers 10 - Canucks 6

Second period

17:45 CANUCKS GOAL Kevin Bieksa assisted by Linden Vey, Brandon McMillan Tied 2-2
16:16 OILERS GOAL Taylor Hall assisted by Benoit Pouliot, Oscar Klefbom 3-2 Oilers
15:05 CANUCKS PENALTY Ryan Stanton hooking drawn by Matt Fraser
12:13 OILERS GOAL Benoit Pouliot assisted by Martin Marincin, Taylor Hall 4-2 Oilers
11:59 CANUCKS GOAL Sven Baertschi assisted Radim Vrbata 4-3 Oilers
00:30 OILERS GOAL Teddy Purcell assisted by David Musil 5-3 Oilers
00:10 OILERS PENALTY David Musil interference drawn by Henrik Sedin

Shots Oilers 10 - Canucks 9

Third period

14:04 CANUCKS GOAL Jannik Hansen assisted by Bo Horvat, Alexander Edler 5-4 Oilers
10:08 CANUCKS GOAL Sven Baertschi assisted by Nick Bonino, Radim Vrbata Tied 5-5

Shots Oilers 5 - Canucks 7


2:31 CANUCKS GOAL Alexander Edler assisted by Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin 6-5 Canucks

Shots Oilers 3 - Canucks 1

Total shots Oilers 28 - Canucks 23